Leading online video site YouTube, now owned by Google, has finally gone widescreen. Many of YouTube’s competitors have been offering higher quality and 16:9 video as a point of difference, in an effort to gain some market share. This move from YouTube may thwart some of the momentum from rival sites, if publishers have moved for the widescreen they now have one less reason to consider other options.
Earlier in the year YouTube introduced the ‘available in higher quality’ option on some videos, although this still has some way to go to match the HD (1280×720) versions available elsewhere.
Strangely the embed code hasn’t changed so inserting YouTube clips into other sites will still display them as 4:3. Could this be a mechanism to encourage users to click through to YouTube.com and be presented with Google ads ? Or simply something still on their to-do-list.